Cinema in Canberra

NFSA's Arc Cinema

Arc Cinema is Canberra’s go-to spot for the culturally curious. Enjoy our curated program of recent releases and revived classics, from high art to guilty pleasures. There’s something for everyone!

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In April, the NFSA marks ANZAC Day with a series of films that examine the effects of armed conflict around the world, from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk to For Sama, a first-hand account of the civil war in Syria.  

We're also celebrating Korean cinema highlights, including Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning Parasite.

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In May, join us for the NFSA’s annual Eurovision festivities, plus a double feature of Alien and Aliens, which introduced Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), now an iconic cinematic action hero. 

Join LGBTQIA+ activist Barry Charles and other guests for a special In Conversation to mark the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of sexual acts between men in NSW, followed by screenings of Land of Storms and Moonlight.

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Breaker Morant (1980) is an Australian cinema classic directed by Bruce Beresford about three Australian soldiers on trial during the Boer War in 1901. 

Preceded by For the Honour of Australia (1916, 27 mins), a compilation of two Australian silent films promoting Australia’s military efforts in the First World War to British audiences. 

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Partner series

The NFSA is a place for conversation and collaboration. Explore our year-long partner series that bring together independent artists, cutting-edge researchers and other arts and cultural organisations. 

With Venus Mantrap
A woman wearing black holds her hand to her chest while looking upwards. Behind her is a red-tinted montage of women performing modern dance

Cult Classics

A series of Friday night filmic feasts showcasing cinema with bite: edgy movies and fan favourites that unnerve, push buttons, ask questions, or just look good on the big screen! Each event includes a performance and introduction to the film from series host Venus Mantrap: local drag artist and culture warrior.

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Canberra Writers Festival
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Book Club at the NFSA

Perfect for bookworms and film buffs alike, this series of screenings and discussions spans a variety of genres, styles and subjects, from Little Women to Australian grunge lit and everything in between. Presented in partnership with Canberra Writers Festival. 

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National Gallery of Australia
A man and woman performing a choreographed dance wearing lightweight bodysuits covered in painted orange, brown and blue dots. They are in a studio in which the floor and walls are decorated with the same pattern

Art Meets Film

A free program of film screenings presented in partnership by the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), with introductions from NGA curators. Each film pairs with an NGA exhibition.

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Australian National University
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Science. Art. Film.

A free series of screenings and panel discussions that uncover wacky, weird and wonderful facets of science and art in films. Presented in partnership with the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and the Australian National University (ANU) Humanities Research Centre. 

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Only cinema in Canberra I like. Great quality screen and sound. Comfortable seats. Air conditioning good temperature all year round. Friendly staff.
Carla Anderson Google review
A must for ANY film, TV or sound buff (or combination) whilst in Canberra – great display of Australia's audiovisual heritage! First-class staff too.
Matt Thompson Facebook review
Spent an hour or two in this fab old building looking at old Aussie newsreels and general film history. Different and worth it.
Mel C Tripadvisor review

We’re open daily on McCoy Circuit in Acton’s cultural precinct. Plan your visit 

Join Club NFSA to get free entry to every seventh paid screening, event or exhibition. Request a Club NFSA card at Reception and have your card stamped each time you visit (excludes premium and external events). 

Extend your visit and explore our unique Art Deco building, from the curious collection of artefacts on display in The Library to the immersive Temple exhibition in the Gallery. Visit the team from Church Neighbourhood Goods at our onsite cafe and bar to enjoy a locally roasted coffee, a Canberra brew or a tasty treat. Learn more